23 February, 2007

Arab states send message to Iran

New York Times -
As fears grow over the escalating confrontation between Iran and the West, Arab states across the Persian Gulf have begun a rare show of muscle flexing, publicly advertising a shopping spree for new weapons and openly discussing their security concerns.
“There has always been an acknowledgment of the threat in the region, but the volume of the debate has now risen,” said one United Arab Emirates official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject. “Now the message is there’s a dialogue going on with Iran, but that doesn’t mean I don’t intend to defend myself.”
“The message is first, ‘U.S., stay involved here,’ and second, ‘Iran, we will maintain a technological edge no matter what,’ ” said Emile el-Hokayem, research fellow at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a research center based in Washington. “They are trying to reinforce the credibility of the threat of force.”
“They have been doing these kinds of purchases since the ’90s,” said Marwan Lahoud, chief executive of the European missile maker MBDA. “What has changed is they are stating it publicly. The other side is making pronouncements so they have to as well,” he said, speaking of Iran’s recent announcements about its weapons capacity.
My emphasis in the last paragraph quoted. For deterrence to work you need to know your opponent knows what you will do if attacked. That is a key to the plot of the movie Dr. Strangelove influenced by Economics Nobel prize winner Thomas Schelling.

The Times article has another thread -- the Arab Gulf states continue to lean on the US for defense. Reading between the lines of the story I see the hint of the suggestion that Arab Gulf states are building up not just because of increasing threats from Iran, but from the increasing likelihood that the US presence in the Gulf will diminish in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Irans nuclear developments are definetly a threat to the Arab neighbors and if the crisis is not diffused right now, this will escalate to a gradual dominance of Persian shias that might just reverse the terrors that Arabs gave to Iran centuries back.Iran is not a matured state to have nuclear arsenal as their presidents immature statements shows it

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